Page Twelve PERSPECTIVES
in the gardens of Rouen
eating fungus bread,
giving up the cake as dullness.
watching crude bronze statues,
wondering who had bothered
River Run down
run through the town,
home to the fields,
reform from dissolution;
the Greeks who lost Sophrosyne to bow to Atropos
are altered to a chanting commissar within a
the Jew who turned upon his God
becomes barbarian Christian,
the Stoic Roman's sons accepting country as a gift
change to Americans in a last rebellion.
A king walks down the years
on solid ground;
the people follow in revolt,
a little course before recourse
upon the river.
The wind drys out
the burned and blackened seed,
mixes the death
and tearsof centuries
into the hope of life.
America, you have been too long;
tears are not lost in the growing.
Where is the brother
now that the wind will only blow over water?-
A last deluge begins;
all tributaries overflow their banks in final dirge
and flow together in incessance.
The soil trembles and breaks,
is thrown skyward on a windless day,
returns as liquid without form.
How long shall we cry
how long keep our wake before the last to die?
Pioneers saw beginnings to the west
till tycoons jumped from bluffs at end of land
to conquer sea;
the few remain,
or rise decadent,
holding to their unproductive coin
as if to build on nothing.
Machines follow the man;
slogans blur his view
with melting all around him.
Security stirs within its towers,
casts out a worthless glance
to guard its separated birthright,
returning to the fruits.
The stench of ripeness grows
as holes become perceptible in protest.
The new rise up to rise no more;
the old do not remit their promise of decay
but cheat the rebels of their latency,
in final gesture
throw machined destruction
in the midst of this,
the midst of all rebellion birth.
The end and the beginning meet
within the final end
and all go down the overflowing river.
The unity of states within a state dissolves,
the unity of larger states,
the larger hope,
as all are thrown skyward at a burst
and down to liquid,
flowing down and down the river.
River run down
over the town.
Silence over water
covers one human cry
of hope and passing,
covers the liquid quiet of death in Rouen gardens.
This history was a little movement of the hand
toward a belief.
Letter To Biak: Fragment
"I have skirted the way streams run
along the arroyo beds and at dusk
not gone alone on the trail to the spring.
I have left untasted the wild-honey
and winter-green and the wild choke-cherries;
and the partridge-berries that you told me of
I have neither touched nor tasted."
for you these lips untasting
for you this tongue unstained of honey.
"At the maple there are many bees,
the honey-musk is thick about their bodies.
So shall you know this April through my mind
folded in these certain squares and
censored in an envelope ...
if dogwood comes or April brings
"Since you left I have wandered once only
in the bottom land. It was the first cutting
and the alfalfalay thick like hair. The
honey-musk sill clings about the maple
but the bees are gone ..."
(I am stronger now and brave)
I will set aside against your coming
dried berries of the winter-green
and sweet seed-cakes with wild honey for them.
OF DOGS AND DECISIONS
..Continued from Wage .1I
and ran away; and I don't think Clyde
ever knew it.
The horse ran right up to the cars
and stopped. Clyde flew over the horse's
head, and clear over the first car, and
hit his head on the next one. When we
got there some men were kicking the
dogs away that were sniffing around;
but the crowd was gathering so fast
it didn't do any good. The dogs ran
over him, and escaped beneath the
cars. Clyde's dog hung around close
and moaned like only a dog can when
such a thing happens. Some doctor
leaned over Clyde, feeling beneath his
shirt. He stood up and toId a couple
of the men to take the body into the
clubhouse, and call for an ambulance.
There were six men carrying the body,
and three or four running for the
phone. Clyde's wife came hurrying and
the doctor told her there was nothing
anybody could do now.
There wasn't any more drinking done.
Everyone stood around in little groups
talking quietly, not sure exactly what
to do or say. I never saw them all so
strange in the four years I'd been going
out to the club. Mrs. Madner stood off
to herself. People occasionally walked
over to her .. . with words of consola'
tion, I guess. Her eyes were big. Tears
slid out now and again. And she looked
around at the people -as if she wonder-
ed were they looking at her.
When the ambulance came she cried
pretty hard. I walked over to her as
they were bringing the body out; and
she looked up at me with her mouth a
little trembling as if she wanted to say
something, only she couldn't. All I
could think of was what we'd said over
back of the cars: he hadn't any business
drinking if he was going to ride after
the dogs. I said: "Too bad it happe2d:
this way." And then I knew I better
not say anything more. They put Clyde
into the ambulance, and pulled away,
with the tires crackling on the gravel.
Mrs. Madner watched. "How, how, how
am I going to tell the children," she
said. I said: "If you want, I'll drive you
home, or some place." She nodded, and
looked questioningly. "Sure," I said.
"Wait till I find the dog." I didn't'feel
very good about saying that, later on.